On April 25, 2007, the Palestine-Israel Journal (PIJ) held a Palestinian-Israeli roundtable discussion at the American Colony Hotel in East Jerusalem, on Jerusalem: 40 Years Later. The Israeli participants were Dr. Menachem Klein, policy advisor to former FM Shlomo Ben-Ami on Jerusalem, Dr. Moshe Amirav, policy advisor to former PM Ehud Barak on Jerusalem and former member Jerusalem Municipality and Prof. Ruth Lapidoth, a Hebrew University expert on legal status of Jerusalem. The Palestinian participants were Dr. Riad Malki, director of Panorama, Ramallah; Dr. Nazmi Ju'beh, Geneva Initiative negotiator on Jerusalem; and attorney Mazen Qupty, a legal expert on Jerusalem. The moderators were PIJ co-editor Ziad AbuZayyad and Le Monde Diplomatique correspondent Amnon Kapeliouk.

Hillel Schenker: Welcome, all of you, on behalf of the Palestine-Israel Journal to our special roundtable on Jerusalem. Our new issue will be devoted to "Jerusalem: 40 Years Later," and the roundtable will deal with Jerusalem past, present and future.

Ziad AbuZayyad: Today and after 40 years of the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem, do you think Israel succeeded in bringing Jerusalem out of the state of war to become a city of peace between Israelis and Palestinians, or the opposite?

Menachem Klein: In my view, we are closer to ending the occupation. I'm not sure that we have achieved peace in this city. There is a kind of coexistence between the two sides in the city, but it is coexistence with a large degree of animosity. We have borders in the city and we are closer to removing the borders, or to moving from a situation of occupation to a settlement. Looking 40 years back, the first 20 years were very quiet. It seemed then that the Israeli occupation project and annexation had succeeded. But after 20 years, in 1987, when the first intifada broke out, this marked the beginning of the end of the occupation. Then the Israelis became aware that the Palestinians in the city are part of the collective Palestinian national movement. Israel is trying to play between the extremes: on the one hand, to exclude the Palestinians; on the other, to control them through walls - small walls, the big [separation] wall, checkpoints, and all these kinds of tools of control. Every day the Israeli control is harder, tougher than before, and using more force is an expression of the Israeli bankruptcy of the annexation. At some point it will end.
Riad Malki: The city itself contains within it all the dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We are talking about territory, demography, refugees, settlements, security - everything is embedded within the city itself. That is why no one can assume that Jerusalem, by the fact of annexation and by the fact of the unilateral imposition of Israeli laws, the city becomes a city of peace. When we talk about peace, we have to talk about two levels: First, the coexistence that exists between the residents of the city, and here the Palestinians maintain a high level of tolerance, which does not mean acceptance. They try to benefit to the maximum from the services, but it doesn't mean that these people have given up on their fight for identity, for freedom within the city itself. This means that the inner peace does not exist within the city, despite the fact that you see tranquility and normality. If we hear the Israeli official position, they might say: "Yes, it's a city of peace." But if you ask the Palestinian people and leadership, they will say: "It's not." So how do we judge if it is really a city of peace or not? There has to be some coherence between the two sides and an acceptance by the two sides of the same norms. And since the Palestinians are in total contradiction to what the Israelis are proclaiming about the city itself, then I cannot speak about Jerusalem being a city of peace.

Nazmi Ju'beh: I think we are witnessing now the collapse of the different illusions about Jerusalem. Forty years of Israeli occupation, control and administration of the city did not convert the city into a united one. I think the enmity in the city is much more than after June 1967, after the war. The Israelis enjoyed some kind of tranquility in the city in the first two decades for sure, as Menachem mentioned earlier. But I think it is not only due to the rise of the Palestinian national movement in the city that these illusions are collapsing one after another, but because of the mismanagement of the Israelis of East Jerusalem. If I look at my community, I hardly know one individual who is not in direct conflict with the Israeli establishment, on different levels - with taxes, with the municipality, with licenses, with the crossing of checkpoints, losing land. I hardly know any family that does not have reunification problems. I hardly know any family that is not accumulating paper after paper in order to prove they are living in the city. I don't know of a similar place anywhere in the world. My wife carries whenever she goes to the Ministry of the Interior a pack full of documents: rates invoices, water bills, electricity bills, school certificates, just to prove that she is still living in the city. I think the miscalculated Israeli policy in the city has converted the slightest percentage of people who were ready to live in coexistence in the city into very bitter enemies.
I want to tell you one example. I remember when we began the negotiations in 1991 and I had my first meetings with Yasser Arafat and the clique in Tunisia. I was telling them: "Look, you will have a problem to attract Palestinians in East Jerusalem to be part of the Palestinian National Authority which you are intending to establish, because a lot of people are enjoying life: social security, health insurance, etc.," and I would say that maybe 40-50% of Palestinians living in East Jerusalem were willing to live under Israeli administration; they preferred it to the Palestinian. But now I am saying you will not find 2% of Palestinians in East Jerusalem who are ready to live under Israeli administration. The major element is the Israeli mismanagement of East Jerusalem. They converted most of our neighborhoods into slums. The only growing refugee camp in the West Bank is the Jerusalem refugee camp of Shu'fat. More than 60% of the Palestinians living in the refugee camp are not refugees, but people who lost their social status because of the socioeconomic policy implemented in Jerusalem, and it is cheaper for them to live in the camp rather than in other neighborhoods.

Ziad AbuZayyad: Ruth, how do you see Jerusalem? Do you see it as a liberated city, an occupied city, a unified city or an annexed city?

Ruth Lapidoth: I never use these four expressions because I think what is important is to find compromises. I think Jerusalem has four big problems that are worse in Jerusalem than anywhere else in the country. Problem number one is the very strong feelings that people have about it, Palestinians and Israelis. We have to teach people to tone down the feelings because you cannot find a compromise if you have such strong feelings. Of course there is a problem of sovereignty. Sovereignty will always be an obstacle for peace, and an obstacle for compromise. We should find solutions without dealing with sovereignty. The second problem is the holiness: the city is holy for three main religions and it has many holy places that are holy not only to those living in the city but to 3 billion people who live elsewhere. This makes it even more complicated. The third problem is the heterogeneity of the population. I heard the former mayor of the city, Teddy Kollek, saying once that there are 40 different ethnic or religious groups in Jerusalem. Each community should have the possibility to organize its life as much as it can, according to its own traditions. And the last problem, whatever the future is of this area, Jerusalem will always be on the border between the Palestinian state and the Israeli state and, therefore, we must find a way to allow the people who live around the city to continue to use Jerusalem as an economic and cultural center, irrespective of politics and borders because now, except for the wall, it is such a center and it is very important that it continue to play that role. It must be a place where you feel that you have your cultural and economic center irrespective of the political borders.

Ziad AbuZayyad: How do you define the situation of Jerusalem today from a legal aspect?

Ruth Lapidoth: I don't think you can put it into a legal concept. It is so different from other situations that it would be very difficult to put it into any of these little holes that we know. Jerusalem is different; we cannot compare it to any other situation.

Ziad AbuZayyad: Do you agree, or disagree that Jerusalem is an occupied city?

Ruth Lapidoth: I laugh and I say, you can call it occupied, you can call it liberated, you can call it shared, whatever; I think the best is to say it is a shared city.

Ziad AbuZayyad: Mazen, what is your comment?

Mazen Qupty: You have the two official positions: You have the Israeli official position which sees East Jerusalem as part of Israel, and the Palestinian Arab's, which sees East Jerusalem as occupied territory. The fact that Israel annexed this occupied territory later on, and whether this annexation is legal, and whether it is according to international law or not, there is a very big dispute even among Israeli scholars. One of the major problems is the fact that Israel is every day creating facts on the ground in East Jerusalem. When you start thinking about dividing Jerusalem and having two capitals, the facts on the ground make it this solution harder to implement.

Amnon Kapeliouk: For all the years of the Israeli occupation, the Israeli authorities and also the ordinary people thought that all the changes on the ground would be accepted sooner or later by the Palestinians. Moshe, you have followed the situation of Jerusalem from the beginning, what do you think?

Moshe Amirav: Jerusalem for me was a kind of a dream. I will start with a small story from my book that's coming out next week, Jerusalem Syndrome, which describes a pathological-psychological phenomenon. We have about 200 cases of this every year, of people who get mentally ill when they meet up with Jerusalem. Their disconnection from rationality is a phenomenon that we have only in Jerusalem, of all the cities of the world. I was sick once with this Jerusalem Syndrome. When I was young, I was in the Betar youth movement and I dreamed that, one day, I will see the city united. I was so anxious to do it that, when I was 16, I went on Yom Kippur to Jerusalem's Mount Zion intending to cross the border into Jordanian-occupied territory and blow a shofar near the Wailing Wall. I thought that we had to take the other side of Jerusalem and unite the city. I was crazy. I was a lunatic. I called my book Jerusalem Syndrome because I see this syndrome among the leadership. After 40 years, we have failed in almost every national target for Jerusalem. All researchers agree that, on the demographic level, on the diplomatic level, international legitimacy - the last two embassies: Costa Rica and El Salvador left months ago - we have failed. And one of the major goals was to make Jerusalem big, strong economically, and it is now the poorest big city in Israel. When we come to coexistence, the big dream was about this mosaic: Everybody would live together and be happy and, of course, we had this intifada which ended this coexistence. But I still say that, in Jerusalem, in this small place, one square kilometer which is the Old City of Jerusalem, I think we should share something. Because if we, Palestinians and Israelis, don't share anything, we are doomed to live in hostility and separation forever. On the rest of the issues we will divide. This is my dream now to have a shared city of Jerusalem. 

Riad Malki: A recent public opinion poll in the Palestinian territories asked: To which part of Palestine are you most connected? The pollsters expected answers such as Jaffa, or the city or the village their ancestors came from before 1948. The majority said Jerusalem. A colleague who works with me, and who comes from the north of the West Bank, tells me that he has never been in Jerusalem. He's about 27 years old, and he's not the only one: most of the new generation of Palestinians has never been in Jerusalem. And he is constantly asking me to find him an invitation, a conference so he could go for even one single day. He tells me, "I want to live that moment." A person like him - he is going to get married, has a master's degree from Birzeit University - is telling you that, if this situation continues with Jerusalem closed to all Palestinians, then you are pushing the Palestinians to take a different approach. You waited for 19 years since the 1948 war to "go back" to Jerusalem. He has been waiting for 27 years to see Jerusalem, and he has never seen it.

Ziad AbuZayyad: I want to mention that since March 1993, when the Israelis started the policy of closures, Palestinians in the West Bank are not allowed to visit Jerusalem without a permit. There are Palestinians who live within 3 kilometers from Jerusalem, but have not been able to visit for several years.

Menachem Klein: The Israeli settlement project has succeeded in bringing to the occupied territories about 500,000 people. Half of them are in the Jerusalem area - East Jerusalem or annexed Jerusalem - the rest spread all over the West Bank, 80% of them adjacent to the Green Line. Israel failed to realize its grand strategy of the late '70s to bring 1,000,000 settlers to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It failed to change the demographic situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The only place where Israel has succeeded in changing the demography was in Jerusalem. However, Israel acknowledged the shortcomings of the project by the fact that the city is actually divided into two ethnic groups. In the late '90s, definitely in Camp David 2000, the taboo over dividing the city was broken and the Israeli public is ready to divide and the question is where to divide. The principle was broken and this is good news for every peacemaker.

Ruth Lapidoth: With regards to demography in Jerusalem, I have read that when the Israelis took control of Jerusalem, there were 28% Arabs and the rest were Jews; and today there are 34% Arab and the rest are Jews, so I wouldn't say that the demographic situation has changed in favor of the Jews.

Ziad AbuZayyad: The number of Jews in East Jerusalem was zero before the June, 5, 1967, and now it is about 250,000 after 40 years of occupation. Do you think that bringing Jews to live in East Jerusalem, brings us closer to peace, or draws us further away from peace?

Menachem Klein: Acknowledging the failures of the project brings us towards peace. There are no mixed settlements or neighborhoods for Jews and Arabs together. All of the 12 new neighborhoods are Jewish neighborhoods. The number of Jewish settlers residing inside Arab neighborhoods is less than 2,000. So Israel has also failed to change the demography of Palestinian neighborhoods, and these small Jewish clusters are built along the same system as the Israeli outposts in the West Bank. The Israeli authorities think that they can spread points of control all over the Palestinian populated areas. This will fail. The failure will bring us closer to peace.

Nazmi Ju'beh: I think the Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem will be a problem even after the peace. These settlements will make any agreement in the future very fragile, since they are interlocking with the Palestinian neighborhoods. The division will look like a form of an apartheid regime where certain people are allowed to drive in one street, the others are not allowed, and anybody who wants to sabotage the agreement will have a great chance to do so. These settlements did not manage to bridge between the two peoples, but, on the contrary, they have managed to build more hostility between the peoples. I am living just close to the Neve Ya'akov settlement. Between my house and the next house in Neve Ya'akov there are less than 50 meters and we are living with our backs to each other. No one has any relationship with the next neighbor. We don't know who is living there; we don't want to know. They never even look on our side from Neve Ya'akov, and vice versa.

Moshe Amirav: I want to relate to the idea of the settlements in East Jerusalem as an obstacle to peace. I want to say that this is not an obstacle to peace and the proof is Camp David. At Camp David, the obstacle had nothing to do with territory or with people, or with demography, but with the holy places, with the Temple Mount, al-Haram al-Sharif. The Palestinians accepted the Israeli facts on the ground. They agreed that one-third of East Jerusalem, which is now occupied by new neighborhoods, would be a part of Israel. In other words, the problem between Israel and the Palestinians or between Israel and the Muslim world, or the Arab League, is not the settlements in East Jerusalem. The big problem is the Old City, the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif. These are the two very small places that are the obstacles to peace, not the settlements.

Mazen Qupty: I do not agree. I think the settlements in East Jerusalem could be not an obstacle for an agreement of peace, but they are obstacles to peace. It could be that both parties, Palestinian officials and Israeli officials, will come to an agreement dividing the Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and put them under Israeli sovereignty. They can get to such an agreement, but whether this agreement will keep peace between Palestinians and Israelis in East Jerusalem? I don't agree. To make a separation between the settlements and Shu'fat and Beit Hanina, you have to make a wall, you have to make borders and you cannot do it. To make a separation between Sheikh Jarrah and French Hill and Shu'fat, you cannot do it. You are going to have walls and suffering by the Palestinian population of all these areas, which, ultimately, is not going to lead to a real peace, but to a sort of imposed peace. To keep settlements under Israeli sovereignty in East Jerusalem, it can succeed only if you keep an open city, so everybody on both sides can have free access to the area of the whole Jerusalem.

Nazmi Ju'beh: I was one of those who negotiated the agreement on Jerusalem in the Geneva Accords where we accepted the existence of the Jewish settlements. The question is whether these groups of settlements are helpful for peace or not. I think not. You can find the physical solution for their existence. But this will make the whole agreements fragile. Hence the connection between the different neighborhoods with their hinterland will be through the other's land. And that will be very problematic to protect in the future. This is the ultimate outcome of these solutions, which I agreed upon. This will shape our city into a citadel rather than a living city with two parts. I am not so romantic as to think that we can leave Jerusalem as an open city for everyone. This solution could have been implemented maybe 20 years ago, but today it is really difficult to have a big open city. I am in favor of the division of the city.

Riad Malki: The whole Israeli settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territories was taken unilaterally, was decided by Israel without consulting with the Palestinians. Whatever is unilateral is not legal and cannot really function, so you cannot base any negotiating process in the future on unilateral actions. There will be no peace together with the settlements.

Ziad AbuZayyad: Does anyone disagree that the settlements are illegal and are a violation of the Geneva Fourth Convention because no occupying country has the right to settle in occupied territory?

Ruth Lapidoth: Politically, I think it is wrong. Legally there are very different opinions, although the International Court of Justice says it is illegal. So I don't want to go into the legality here. In Israel, we have 20% Arabs, why shouldn't we have some Jews in the Palestinian state?

Ziad AbuZayyad: Because the Arabs were there before the creation of Israel and remained to live in their lands and houses while the settlers were brought into the Palestinian Occupied Territories under the protection of the guns of the occupation. Any settler who wants to be a citizen of the Palestinian state - no objection.

Mazen Qupty: We can divide again one whole country into two states according to the 1967 borders. If you agree on the principle which says I am ready to put the settlers who are living in the West Bank under Palestinian sovereignty and they can choose whether to stay or come back to Jerusalem; in addition, we remove the borders issue which will be agreed upon by both parties, then the main problem we will have here will be the Old City.

Ziad AbuZayyad: Taking into account the sensitivity of the issue of the holy places in Jerusalem, do you think changing the status quo of the holy places will contribute to making peace and stability in the city?

Mazen Qupty: Any solution has to provide free access for all people from all religions to the holy places in Jerusalem. There is a real challenge between Israelis and Palestinians saying which status quo are you talking about? The Israelis will say, the status quo is what exists from 1967. The Palestinians will say, let's go back to what was before 1967. Many Jewish religious leaders will not allow Jewish people to go to al-Haram al-Sharif and pray there. If you are not talking about sovereignty, I think we don't have a problem of control. The Western Wall is under full control Israeli control, and even in the Camp David proposals there was readiness from the Palestinian side to keep the control of Israel on the Wailing Wall. I think control of the Haram al-Sharif has to be fully in the hands of the Palestinians. The Christian community is not asking for control over the Holy Sepulcher.

Menachem Klein: The way to achieve an agreement over the holy places is to disconnect between the holy places, religion and state sovereignty. That is the only way to achieve a peace agreement and coexistence, to inject some kind of rationality into these places. Otherwise, if we fan the flames of the religious and historical fires, we end up in a real catastrophe. Each side is ready to acknowledge the historical and cultural attachment of the other side to the place. It is unwilling to acknowledge the sovereignty. I don't see any option of having a special regime in this area because it is the most sensitive place for Israelis and Palestinians in a city that will be two capitals.
Ruth Lapidoth: When we come to the holy places, I think it is essential not to worry about sovereignty. You will never reach an agreement about sovereignty. I have suggested some time ago that everyone should agree that sovereignty belongs to God. Sovereignty, not for a state-like entity. And then we have to speak about division of power. Freedom of access is very important, but we should not have any illusions because not all people are very nice and reliable. There must be limitations for purposes of smuggling and of security, so there must be some kind of control. After making peace, we must make sure that those people who want to destroy our peace cannot come into the city and blow up everything. Even if it is completely free for access, you must have some control of the borders or at the entrance to the holy places. It's too dangerous. I think even if you go to the Vatican there is control there, although they don't have enemies in the city. So freedom of access, yes, but still careful, and I suppose that the control should not be by any of the states concerned, but by an international police force, so that nobody can say there is discrimination or something like that. The problem with freedom of worship is the problem that Jews are not allowed to pray on the Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif). There is no problem with Christians and Muslims visiting the Wailing Wall, but in the Dome of the Rock, only Muslims may enter.

Ziad AbuZayyad: Each one in control of his holy places can take all the needed precautions to guarantee that he is safe. We should not speak about an era of peace while still continuing to live with the siege mentality, and checkpoints, and closures, and passages, and restrictions, and all other things.

Ruth Lapidoth: I agree with you, but at the moment there is not much trust between Israelis and Palestinians. Therefore, I would say that if we reach peace - and I am not a pessimist - if we reach peace, it can be great but for the first 5-10 years we need some kind of international help because there is so much lack of trust between the two parties.

Amnon Kapeliouk: When Ehud Barak gave his proposals to the Palestinians in Camp David, he touched on the al-Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount) and the proposal was to divide them. And when the Palestinians - Abu Ammar [Yasser Arafat] - saw it, he was frightened. He said to President Clinton, Give me the signature of King's Fahd and Hassan II, and then we will see, but it is unacceptable. Why Barak did it, according to me and others who covered the Camp David talks, was because he did not want a solution. When he begins with Jerusalem holy places it will stop, they will not advance to a solution and his real aim was to show Arafat as responsible for the failure of this summit and to blame him.

Nazmi Ju'beh: There is no holy sites conflict; there is one holy site conflict: Haram al-Sharif. I think that the other sites are not problematic. For instance, if Hebron's Haram al-Ibrahimi (Tomb of the Patriarchs) falls in the Palestinian territories, Israeli visiting arrangements can be solved; it is not a problem. That will include Rachel's Tomb, Nabi Samuel - there is no really big problem there; we can reach arrangements. We have one sensitive site, that's it, and this site is liable to blow everything up. The Palestinians will say: "If I do not gain full control over Haram al-Sharif, there is no agreement." The Israelis are saying: "If you don't recognize our attachment to this site, there is no agreement." I don't have a solution that everyone can be satisfied with, but I, as a Palestinian, cannot sign any agreement without full Palestinian control over Haram al-Sharif; otherwise I will lose credibility and maybe existence - not only with the Palestinians, but in the Muslim and Arab world as a whole.

Ziad AbuZayyad: I cannot deny by any means the spiritual and emotional attachment of the Jews to Jerusalem, or to what they call the Temple Mount. They cannot deny me my emotional and spiritual connection to and love for Jaffa and all the places of Palestine. I love them. But at the same time, I cannot say because I love Jaffa, I want Jaffa back or I want to control Jaffa. So we should differentiate between emotional or spiritual attachment and practical control. I agree with you that no Palestinian will agree that Israelis will have authority over the Haram al-Sharif, but no Palestinian has the right to tell the Jews that you should not be emotionally or spiritually attached to any place in the world.

Nazmi Ju'beh: They are asking for recognition of the attachment.

Moshe Amirav: Out of experience, I think we can say that the minute we brought the issue of sovereignty to the flag, any flag, we were getting into a deep problem, because only one flag can be there. Anwar Sadat asked Menachem Begin if he was willing to have a flag there and he responded: "Which flag?" The minute we get into flags or sovereignty, we have a big problem. We saw it in Camp David; Barak was ready for a compromise, which means that Israel would not have sovereignty over Haram al-Sharif. I can tell you about Barak that he was ready to have this attachment or a kind of sovereignty over the bottom or under the mountain. The idea was that a solution can come only if we don't have flags, and Arafat said: "I want to have a Palestinian flag, and I'm not ready to have a green flag of Islam, I want a Palestinian flag."

Riad Malki: Is it possible to raise the Palestinian flag when the areas under Palestinian control do not have sovereignty?

Moshe Amirav: Israeli flag, no solution, Palestinian flag, no solution. We don't need flags there. The solution can be in all kinds of arrangements. Ruth Lapidot can give you 10 options for an arrangement for the Temple Mount without the flag or sovereignty. If we take out the flag, then we can come to a solution. The issue is not only between Palestinians and Israelis; it is an issue between more than 1 billion Muslims who are attached to this place. I have spoken with Muslims in Indonesia and in Morocco and in Egypt who told me they are very much attached, and why are we dealing only with the Palestinians. We are speaking of a problem of Muslims and Jews. It's not between Palestinians and Israelis.

Menachem Klein: The same Muslim in Indonesia is also attached to Mecca but he never challenges the sovereignty of Saudi Arabia over Mecca. My experience with Barak and Shlomo Ben-Ami is totally different. Barak never gave up the Israeli overriding sovereignty by not having veto power over the excavations or building on the al-Haram or having sovereign power over the underground. Barak refused to accept President Mubarak's proposal after Camp David that the division of sovereignty will mean that Palestine would enjoy full sovereignty over al-Haram al-Sharif and Israel would enjoy full sovereignty over the Wailing Wall. For Barak and other Israelis, the Wailing Wall is our asset, so it is out of any negotiation, off the negotiating table. For the Palestinians, it is part of the negotiations, and from a religious point of view, they are right. One cannot deny that the holiness of the Wailing Wall comes from the Temple Mount. The issue of al-Haram al-Sharif cannot be solved separately without including the symbolic issues of the 1948 refugees. Because the two core emotional historical issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are Jerusalem and 1948, and anyone who asks the Palestinians to make concessions on refugees, should take into account that the Palestinians cannot agree to make concessions on two issues simultaneously - refugees and Jerusalem. Either you accept the Palestinian stand on refugees and they will make concessions on Jerusalem, or you give up sovereignty over al-Haram al-Sharif.
Ziad AbuZayyad: Is the problem solvable or not?

Mazen Qupty: It is important which part of Jerusalem we can agree upon and which part we cannot agree upon. There is no dispute about most of the areas of East Jerusalem. The Old City is the place where Palestinians and Israelis will have a hard time to reach a solution. If we can get a resolution about the Old City, I think the issue of Jerusalem will be solved.

Riad Malki: There are two schools of thought: one that talks about enlarging the city and having it big enough to absorb all the concerns and to have parity between the Palestinians and Israelis within some kind of special regime; there is another school of thought that says that small is beautiful and you make it as small as possible, and then you try to find ways of how to solve the conflict. I am in favor of going to the smallest possible and identifying the areas of conflict and limiting it to that area. When you are talking about sovereignty, I believe that the Palestinians will never give up their sovereignty, but a diluted sovereignty might be a way to deal with this issue.

Moshe Amirav: There are three Jerusalem circles. The first one is the big circle of Jerusalem, which is bigger than Tel Aviv and Haifa together and this should be divided between Israel and Palestine. The East should be the recognized capital of Palestinians and the West of Israel. The second point is the Old City should be under a special regime which should also be united like an urban city arrangement. The Old City should have a special status because it's too small to divide. The third circle has to do with Haram al-Sharif. And this is the only place where we have a conflict. It's not a political conflict. I said that to Barak, he almost fainted. I said we have to give up on Haram al-Sharif, and give it to Islam, not to Arafat, to Islam. This is a holy place for Islam. Let's give it to them. These are the three elements of Jerusalem in my vision towards a solution, and then for the first time in its history Jerusalem will be a city of peace, because it was occupied in the last 3,000 years.

Ziad AbuZayyad: For more than 13 centuries Jerusalem was not occupied; it was under Islamic rule. It was ruled by Muslims and citizens of the city, not as occupiers. The occupation started with the First World War, with the British occupation.

Nazmi Ju'beh: I am terrified when I hear Moshe saying we can give up on the Haram to anybody but, of course, not to the Palestinians. To me the ideal solution is to have Jerusalem as large as possible as an open city for both people. I know this is wishful thinking and not practical anymore, especially for the Israelis; they go for division. Division is ugly and destructive for the city, and very hostile, but I accept it, and only for a transitional period because I think we will laugh about this division a few years later. Because how can you divide Abu Tor and at-Tor by a wall? It's very ugly and impossible - unless there are a lot of openings in it. Nobody will oblige me in the future to go to Bethlehem using the road to the east of Ma'ale Adumim and then to go up to Bethlehem. I can accept it only for a transitional period. But after 10 years, if this is not going to be dismantled and the city will not be open, the whole peace will collapse. Nobody will accept it forever because it will be impossible to carry out. So I feel that we have to go in Jerusalem for division in order to create suitable conditions for a better future for the city, because the division between 1948 and 1967 converted the city into a frontier. And we remember the walls how ugly they were in the city. I was very happy to see the walls removed in 1967. The idea of uniting the city again to me is a dream but not in the form of unilateralism and of occupation, but rather in the form reflecting the needs of the people.

Ziad AbuZayyad: I think Moshe described the solution in a very simple and clear way: We want an open city, one city but divided politically.

Menachem Klein: I think technical solutions can be found how to divide the Jewish and Arab cities physically. I do not have the right to decide for the Palestinians where their Jerusalem begins and ends. I have the full right to decide what I, in Israeli Jerusalem, want to have. I find it necessary for Israel to give up Giv'at Ze'ev and Ma'ale Adumim - exclude them from Greater Jerusalem. For the benefit of Jewish West Jerusalem. We cannot, in the long run, hold settlement fingers of Ma'ale Adumim and Giv'at Ze'ev going into the State of Palestine. No Israeli citizen will agree to live there; it is a burden. The Israeli authorities acknowledge that the E1 plan of Greater Jerusalem is planned to keep Ma'ale Adumim and this endangers the character of the Jewish city. I am in favor of going back to a smaller, more manageable Israeli capital in the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem, with a physically divided city, but done not as brutally as this wall divides the city. Without a comprehensive deal on Israeli-Palestinian peace, the city cannot survive the division. It is part and parcel of a package deal.

Amnon Kapeliouk: I like this city very much, but I like justice before love. My solution is to give back the occupied Jerusalem, with free access, and to give back the sovereignty of the Arab part.

Ziad AbuZayyad: I hope that our future Jerusalem will be a center of coexistence and cooperation between the State of Palestine and the State of Israel. We can make Jerusalem a model of coexistence, working together in all aspects of life in the city of Jerusalem. I identify myself with those who believe that Jerusalem should be physically united but politically divided. West Jerusalem can be the capital of Israel, East Jerusalem the capital of Palestine. Each side will control its holy places, and two municipal Councils, with a coordination committee between them will develop joint services. Having one city but divided politically will give us the opportunity for enhancing cooperation between the two political identities, and this cooperation will be an example to spread to the wider arena of cooperation between the two states, Palestine and Israel.